J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons told to ‘cut back on self-promotion’Well, it is not surprising that J.Crew would deny this story. However, doesn't it feel like this story could totally be true??? It does seem like Jenna Lyons is everywhere as of late while the women's side of J.Crew has totally lost its focus.
By Emily Smith
December 21, 2014
J.Crew’s fabulous creative director Jenna Lyons is facing internal calls to cut back on her own self-promotion after the brand suffered a massive slowdown in its women’s business.
Sources tell Page Six that — after a dismal earnings report that saw the company go from a net income of $35.4 million to a reported loss of $607.8 million in just a year — style icon Lyons is being ordered by her bosses to focus more on the business and less on her own brand.
One source told us, “J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler is tired of Jenna Lyons being out on the circuit and not paying attention to business.”
While J.Crew’s sales slumped, company president and executive creative director Lyons had a guest role on “Girls” as Lena Dunham’s boss, graced a White House fashion summit, hired a 4-year-old blogger who appeared with Lyons in publicity stills, attended Solange Knowles’ wedding in a runway-ready outfit, and appeared in spreads for Harper’s Bazaar, O Magazine, the New York Times, Vogue and Yahoo.
On top of that, she most recently schmoozed with the Duchess of Cambridge during the British royal’s visit to New York. And we also noticed that all the models at J.Crew’s recent Fashion Week presentations seemed to bear an uncanny resemblance to the much-admired, bespectacled Lyons.
The more low-key Drexler, who did not comment for this story, recently admitted to WWD that women’s apparel and accessory sales have been hit hard. On Dec. 5, Moody’s downgraded J.Crew for its weak sales figures. “We’ve had a very tough year and I, along with the team, own this,” Drexler told WWD. “We saw a significant slowdown in our women’s business. We own that even more. In that regard, we need to improve.”
He added that — even though we can’t imagine Lyons in jogging bottoms — the company would branch into leisure and athletic wear.
A J.Crew spokeswoman said, “This is completely inaccurate and couldn’t be farther from reality.”
We have mentioned before all the issues of where J.Crew needs to focus on. Refer to last month's "J.Crew's Women's Collection Is Costing Millions" post for a refresher. Frankly, I have noticed that customers are not as excited about J.Crew as they use to be. Don't get me wrong, there are still items that are selling out like crazy (Chateau Parka anyone?). However, there are way more items just lingering in the sale section (untouched and unwanted).
Do I think Jenna Lyons is at fault? No, not entirely. But she does bare some responsibility. She is at the helm of the ship and so she owns a part of J.Crew's current problems.
Personally, I think it is because her tastes have grown away from J.Crew. What do I mean? For awhile, Jenna was dressing like a fashion forward J.Crew customer. Now she is dressing fashion forward for the fashion forward world. Two different worlds as shown in the image above (both inset pictures are Jenna "before" and the main picture is Jenna "after".).
Listen, I don't dress the exact same way I did 10 years ago. The stores I shop at are different too. I understand that people grow and so do their tastes (including wardrobe). But let's not pretend that Jenna is still a J.Crew customer. I fear she is not.
What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think it is true or not? Do you think Jenna Lyons should take a step back? Please share! :)